Choosing the right piano keyboard

When I first needed in instrument in my apartment, my friend Slavina helped me solve the question of what piano keyboard should I buy. She was the one who recommended the keyboard which I still have to this day.

Years ago, between moving from my old apartment in Woodside to the place I’ve lived for the past six years in Manhattan, I was in the middle of completing my masters degree at Aaron Copland School of Music NY and badly needed a piano to have available at home for my long hours of practicing.

I was one of the people who never had a keyboard before and I couldn’t even imagine being able to prepare for my  hour long classical piano recital only by practicing on a digital piano.

Slavina let me try her instrument for couple of days to get used to the keys and the sounds coming out of the headphones, which are a perfect accessory for you if you are practicing piano in apartment buildings with the neighbors not very tolerant to your art of piano playing.  After a week of going back and forth and debating whether I should invest in a keyboard I made up my mind to buy one. I still use it until this day and let me tell you about what a great purchase that was!  I play on a Kawaii MP4 Digital Stage Piano.

What piano keyboard should I buy?

Some of the best brands for digital pianos are Casio, Yamaha, and Kawaii. Here is a list of items that I would recommend:

Casio AP 220

Yamaha Arius YDP 141

Yamaha p-105

Kawaii MP4 (The piano keyboard I use)

Again, it depends what your budget is. You can purchase a good keyboard for couple of hundred of dollars, which will come as whole package with the pedals, stand and headphones all included. This makes for a very convenient purchase.

Or you can invest a little bit more money and know that the keyboard you buy will be there for you and answer your needs for more than 10 even 20 years ahead.  My advice is to buy a better keyboard and buy everything separately.

Now, after you purchase your first keyboard you can finally realize how smart of a decision that was. You don’t have to deal with paying movers or trying to figure out a space for your piano that you know you wouldn’t be able to change if you wanted to, since moving a real piano is not easy at all. They are heavy, and are very sensitive to temperature, movement and vibrations.

This is different than having a digital keyboard/piano. Some of them are not heavy at all and you will be able to move or use them outside your apartments. They are a great solution for rehearsals, concerts in spaces where they don’t have pianos, or even playing outdoors. You don’t have to worry about tuning and ruining the sound board.

Please see my previous post on the main criteria you should be looking for when choosing a keyboard or you can see me perform live on a keyboard here. Also read: What keyboard accessories should I buy?